Transylvania History: First Train Reached Brevard In 1894
Last updated 3/20/2019 at 3:43pm
In 1894 the first train reached Brevard. It was welcomed by a crowd of awed spectators. The building of the rail line was marred by one fatality: an engine fell through a temporary bridge, killing the fireman and carrying the engineer Ben Edgerton to the bottom of the French Broad. After this accident Edgerton held that an engineer was safe as long as he stuck to his cab; years later he suffered a serious accident when he jumped from his safe base as his engine struck a slide.
In 1897 the H&B was put in the hands of a receiver, T.J. Rickman was named manager and T.S. Boswell superintendent. One train a day was kept moving on its nineteen-mile round trip, which consumed an hour and a half each way. The home office was in Hendersonville, the repair shop in Brevard. Ben Edgerton continued as engineer and Jim Neil was conductor until fatally injured in a wreck at the Davidson River trestle.
(Taken from The Transylvania Times, July 18, 1969 edition.)